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Serious gaming in flood risk management

Forrest, Steven Ashley; Kubíková, Martina; Macháč, Jan


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Mr Steven Forrest
Lecturer in Flood Resilience and Sustainable Transformations

Martina Kubíková

Jan Macháč


Serious gaming is increasingly used to explore important real-world problems and a growing number of serious games are addressing flood-related issues. However, there has been limited synthesis of these attempts and their contributions to the ongoing shift toward a more holistic and governance-based flood resilience perspective in flood risk management (FRM). This international review collates and analyses these attempts in order to develop a knowledge base of serious gaming in the field of FRM. It contains 37 games that were developed with different rationales that include engaging players in the topic of FRM, supporting practice by exploring future options through collaboration, improving communication of FRM, as educational tools, and to collect research data. The gameplay countries and player characteristics, game characteristics, relevance to FRM, game rationales, and collection of data are explored in this paper. Identified serious games provided an unconventional and entertaining approach to engage stakeholders on flood-related issues. The review analyzed the serious games in light of the shift toward flood resilience and identified limitations in the documentation of serious games and their potential in understanding the longer-term impacts of gameplay on players. Furthermore, the vast majority of reviewed games were played in a single country and missed out on understanding the cultural production and perspectives of FRM that could support cross-cultural learning and inspiration for future FRM strategies. Overall, the review identified an important role for serious games in the shift toward governance and the adoption of more holistic flood resilience perspectives. This article is categorized under: Human Water > Water Governance Human Water > Methods Science of Water > Water Extremes.


Forrest, S. A., Kubíková, M., & Macháč, J. (2022). Serious gaming in flood risk management. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, Article e1589.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 26, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date May 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
Print ISSN 2049-1948
Electronic ISSN 2049-1948
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Article Number e1589
Keywords Flood resilience; Flood risk management; Serious games; Systematic literature review
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Copyright Statement
© 2022 The Authors.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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